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South Island Itinerary - Help Please!

Jakarta, Indonesia
2 posts
1 review
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South Island Itinerary - Help Please!

Hi!, so i would like to ask you guys especially for those of you who have experienced South Island traveling since i have never come to NZ in overall (except Wellington). My family and I are planning on going to NZ South Island self-drive tour in August and there are so many questions considering this will be our first time of everything (what was i thinking?!). So here i go:

- Is it at all possible to go to South Island in August for self driving since it is winter there? or do i need to reconsider?

- If i decide to go and rental a car, is it really necessary to hire a 4WD or compact car is enough? Because the gas fuel of the two can be really different...

- Is it really hard to drive in South Island? Yes i have heard about the icy and snowy road but if the crews decided to close the route, is it at all possible to choose an alternative way? Since I live in Indonesia, we don't have snow here so putting on snow chains and etc will be really new to me..

- And here we go, take a look at this itinerary that I made with love..(and ignorance)

Day 1 : Christchurch (Kaikoura? Is it good? If yes then i shall add one more day in Kaikoura)

Day 2 : Christchurch - Geraldine - Fairlie - Lake Tekapo (A night in Lake Tekapo)

Day 3 : Lake Tekapo - Lake Pukaki - Twizel - Omarama - Lindis Pass - Lake Wanaka (A night in Lake Wanaka)*

Day 4: Lake Wanaka - Te Anau (One night in Te Anau)

Day 5 : Te Anau - Milford Sound (We will take a coach and do an overnight Milford Sound Tour from Te Anau since I heard the way up to Milford Sound is really challenging and I thought i would die...or not?

Day 6 : Te Anau - Queenstown

Day 7 : Queesntown Day Tour

*Lindis Pass thoughts and opinion?

And there you go folks (what?), here is my short itinerary. We made it short since our budget is limited (lol) and we don't think should visit fox glacier and mt. cook to ski because we can't ski...and i bring my mom, she will hit me if i brought her to hike or climb.. So the purposes of this itinerary making is to summarise the places we want to see with full of lakes, scenic and you know something beautiful (less hardcore).

I really need you guys to give opinions about this and maybe add some places we might (we sure do) miss! And i really need an advice about the highway we are planning on passing through perhaps some ("don't pass that, its full of snow! choose this instead") kind of thing. Looking forward to your answers! I would really appreciate it!

P.S. Please excuse my writing and indistinctive language since English is not my main language here but i do hope you can guess with your instinct...

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
31,694 posts
322 reviews
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1. Re: South Island Itinerary - Help Please!

Welcome - and don't worry about your English - it is fine!

What day would you arrive in NZ? Day 0 ? Please do not try to drive on your first day in NZ. I assume you are flying out of Queenstown? If you want to visit Kaikoura it would be a good idea to do a tour, so you don't have to drive while jet-lagged.

Snow can be a problem on the alpine passes in August, but only 1-3 times in a month, and often at night. There is no useful alternative to the Lindis Pass, so they will work hard to get it reopened. A 4WD is really not useful unless you plan to go skiing. If chains are required, 4WDs will also require them.

There is no skiing at Mt Cook. Personally I would make that my stop instead of Lake Tekapo, since it is so beautiful, but since you are short of time it might be easier to stick with Tekapo.

Jakarta, Indonesia
2 posts
1 review
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2. Re: South Island Itinerary - Help Please!

Thank you so much for your helpful answer! And yes, we were thinking that we would arrive in Christchurch on day 0. I will totally reconsider about the Mt. Cook visit! I would ask one more question though, so the only problem we might face is only lindis pass (the snow, icy roads) or there are some other highways we might encounter the snow or hazardous roads? So we can be more aware when passing through.. :)

3. Re: South Island Itinerary - Help Please!

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